CableCARD & TiVo Issue - HELP

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by JackSpadesSI, May 12, 2011.

  1. JackSpadesSI

    JackSpadesSI New Member

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    May 12, 2011
    I have a TiVo Premiere XL (Series 4) with a Multi-Stream CableCARD from Charter Communications (my cable provider). Several months ago, Charter Communications began to use Switched Digital Video (SDV), so I was provided with an SDV tuning adapter.

    For over a month now my cable service has been hit-or-miss on my TiVo-equipped TV. Other Charter Communications services/devices are unaffected: two other TVs with generic DVR boxes (which don't use a CableCARD because they are from Charter Communications), a TV with cable but not cable box, high-speed cable internet, and VOIP phone service. Therefore, the issue must lie either with the CableCARD or the TiVo.

    Symptoms: channels completely missing, other channels with significant digital distortion.

    Attempted solutions so far: replaced CableCARD twice, replaced SDV tuning adapter, and requested dozens of "CableCARD pairing hits" from Charter Communications. The CableCARD pairing hits (which I hear are stronger than a pairing hit for a generic DVR box) seem to help somewhat, but the problem either comes back within a week or never fully fixes in the first place.

    I'm desperate for a solution. Charter Communications technicians (either tech support over the phone, or those in person during a service visit) are clueless and incompetent - partly due to their lack of familiarity with CableCARDs. Please offer any help you can, because I'm going crazy!

    Two questions:

    - How do I fix this problem?

    - Is it true that multiple, repeated CableCARD pairing hits sent by Charter Communications can damage the CableCARD or TiVo devices?
     
  2. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    Unfortunately you are between a rock (TiVo) and a hard place (Charter). The most likely cause is ineptitude at the Charter head end rather than hardware problems. However, hardware problems cannot absolutely be ruled out. You could exchange the TiVo but that's probably going to cost you money and time -- and most likely will not fix the problems.

    Is your TA a Cisco brand? If so the software version should be at least .1001 or preferably .1202. Charter would have to push the update. Look in TA diagnostics .... Versions and MACs for the FLASH: entry. The version number is the last four digits.

    Be sure to request Charter credits for loss of service for any day you don't get all your channels. I'm afraid all you can do is keep complaining to Charter and hope they finally get it right.

    You can also file a complaint with the FCC, e.g., here:
    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=450967
     
  3. anotherlab

    anotherlab New Member

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    Jun 22, 2005
    Albany, NY
    It sounds Charter has a few bugs to fix in their system. When I had Time Warner Cable, the initial roll out of Tuning Adapters had all sorts of problems. Are the distorted channels SVD channels? My experience was either the tuning adapter worked or it didn't. When it didn't, none of the SDV channels were tunable.

    If you are getting some SDV channels, it may be a signal strength problem with the cable going to your home. Charter should do a truck roll and verify that the signal is within acceptable limits. They should bring out a new tuning adapter just in case you have a bad one.
     
  4. JackSpadesSI

    JackSpadesSI New Member

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    May 12, 2011
    I believe my SDV tuning adapter is Motorola, but I’ll check tonight. Any idea what software version that should be?

    I have been doing this. I hate that it is a 1-in-3 chance of actually getting someone on the phone that is willing to give out a credit. The other two will try to ignore the request. Why isn’t there some sort of company-wide standard for this stuff??
     
  5. JackSpadesSI

    JackSpadesSI New Member

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    May 12, 2011
    How would I go about finding a list of the SDV channels in my area? I’ve asked over the phone and the various answers have ranged from “what do you mean?” to “I don’t have that information” to a contradictory list of actual channels.

    Is there a way to confirm that my SDV tuning adapter is working correctly with the Charter Communications systems? I can access some of its data in the TiVo menu systems, but the person on the phone never has a clue what to do with that information.
     
  6. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    8,887
    702
    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    Which channels are SDV is something that 99+% of cable customers (and customer reps) have no interest in -- thus not surprising the info isn't easily available. Your best source is probably to post your location here and hope another TiVo owner can tell you. With the Cisco TA's there is a way to tell whether a tuned channel is SDV -- but I don't know about the Motorola TA's. And you have to be able to tune the channel to determine it.

    Finding Cable Co personnel that know about CableCARD and TA's is the exception, not the norm. The FCC says they have to support them but it reminds me of the old Soviet joke: "We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us". (In other words, the way laws say things should work doesn't always match the way they actually work.)
     
  7. dthomas28

    dthomas28 New Member

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    Dec 8, 2009
    Welcome to my world. I have been trying for a year and half (since the changeover to switched digital) to get my cable cards paired. It will not happen. I believe it's because they just won't work with Motorola equipment. I have been through three TiVos, a gazillion cable cards and they will not pair. At all. According to TiVo, the TA must be disconnected when sending the hits to the TiVo, then you can reconnect it. Still doesn't work for me, perhaps it will for you. TiVo also says, the channel map must be sent first. Charter says it's all lone hit, who knows?? Nobody, that's the problem. Actually, somebody, somewhere knows the one little thing everyone needs to know......
     

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